One of the biggest automotive manufacturers to date the Ford Motor Company is planning to focus future development around the concept of austerity. Ford took their most significant step to this end by signing an agreement with Dow in order to use carbon iber as a replacement material.
According to Ford Motor Company Research and Innovation Department Vice-Chairman Paul Mascarenas, the most significant way to ensure the next generation vehicles consume less fuel is to lighten the automotives themselves. "With our collaboration with Dow Automotive Systems, we will be using composite materials made from carbon fibers to make vehicles more economical," explains Mascarenas.
"A FIRST FOR TURKEY"
The Dow and Ford collaboration holds extreme significance for the Turkish firm Aksa. Dow partnered with Aksa at the end of last year and therefore, the Turkish firm will be undertaking an important part in Ford's new plan. The composite materials which will be produced in Aksa's facilities in Yalova, will play a significant role in Ford's plans for their new generation vehicle. Aksa Chairman of the Executive Board Mehmet Ali Berkman reminds that they happen to be one of the largest firms in the world that manufactures carbon fiber, and states, "We will be embarking on an automotive project of this scale for the first time ever. The work to be down for Dow-Ford will be a first for Turkey."
GOING ON A 350 KILO DIET
Ford's plan, which includes Aksa as manufacturers, aims to utilize materials consisting of carbon fibers to substitute other internal vehicle fixtures. As a result of the decreased use of metal armature, the new generation vehicles will be 350 kilograms lighter than the average 1,200 kilograms.
ONE BILLION DOLLARS INVESTMENT IN FIVE YEARS
In the final days of last year, Aksa and Dow signed a contract on the production and international marketing of carbon fiber and carbon fiber based products in a ceremony which was attended by members of the Turkish government as well as the company's top administrators. With a one billion dollar investment spread over the next five years, the joint initiative intends to produce a wide range of products and technical services in the composite industry, as well as create employment opportunities for almost a thousand. The joint initiative intends to expand on the current carbon fiber production done in Aksa's Yalova facilities to create a widespread integrated production capacity to produced advanced carbon fibers technologies.